OAB ' Office of Architecture in Barcelona
'We thought, it would be great if a corporation tried to reach out to the public. Roca wants to erase this detachment that companies have from society.' ' Borja Ferrater, Office of Architecture in Barcelona
The Barcelona-based Roca, one of the world’s top producers of bath furnishings and tile, wanted to increase its visibility. So the company approached Carlos Ferrater’s Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) in 2008 to transform a small 1960s office building it occupied into a brand showroom. Although the timing was precarious — right when the financial crisis hit — design architect Borja Ferrater developed a successful stage for Roca’s products and services, thanks to scale, materials, and public allure.
Gutting the structure, the OAB team worked with Spanish glass manufacturer Cricursa to develop an iconic facade made of aquamarine panels that reflect, refract, and deflect light. “In the day it looks solid like a rock, and at night it looks liquid,” says Ferrater of the glass box, which is lit by 4,200 computer-controlled LEDs.
The resulting interior features dramatic volumes with installations that invite visitors to browse the company’s products and explore its bath solutions through state-of-the-art interactive displays. An additional exhibition space accommodates business and consumer events, often in conjunction with collaborating companies. “[Roca] wants to erase the detachment that companies have from society,” explains Ferrater.
According to Roca brand and communications director Xavier Torras, the gallery has received thousands of visitors since it opened in fall 2009. He estimates that business gleaned just from the buzz generated by the building amounts to $1.2 million. Awareness and positive perception of the company have also grown. “This is the first time in our communication history that we have had results like these,” says Torras.
OAB- OFFICE OF ARCHITECTURE IN BARCELONA
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CAD system, project management, or other software used: Auto CAD. Microsoft Office.
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